The UK’s HMV Group announced its
“most successful Christmas ever”.
But before you take this as an early indicator of a recovering music market, central to the strong performance were DVDs, games, and cookery books. Though there were successful albums and strong sales were reported
“across all product categories“
the bottom line is that music retailers are rapidly becoming media retailers, to meet consumer demand. Even without considering HMV Group’s book retailer Waterstones, non-music products have been growing in importance at HMV for years. DVDs are HMV’s largest single revenue source, just ahead of music which accounts for less than one third of group revenues, though the similar share from books reflects the impact of Waterstones.
Nonetheless, floor space for music has been shrinking for years and will continue to do so. Perhaps HMV having a record Christmas at the time when music revenues hit an all time low is a milestone in this process of realignment. The plus side for HMV of course is that they are less exposed to the vagaries of the recorded music market.